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Quell Tips

The purpose our monthly Quell Tips is to provide information to help you optimize your pain relief with Quell and to make you aware of its many unique health and wellness features.  We hope you find these emails useful.

The content below is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read here.

January 2021 Tip

Pain Relief Tip

The stimulation intensity during your therapy sessions is critical to achieving pain relief.  What is the best or optimal intensity?  Stimulation should feel strong but remain sufficiently comfortable to use Quell regularly throughout the day and night.  The calibration procedure estimates this level for you, however further tuning of the intensity may be useful.  In general, the higher the intensity the more pain relief you will experience.  However, it is important to use Quell regularly so stimulation should not be uncomfortable.  The reason that higher intensities are more effective than lower ones is that the strong stimulation activates more nerves, which increases the strength of the pain relief signal to your spinal cord and brain.  To learn more about how transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) works read this blog post.

Did you Know?

If you wear your Quell device overnight, it will monitor your movements to determine if you experience periodic leg movements (PLMs).  What are PLMs and why are they important?  In simple terms, PLMs are repetitive movements of your legs.  Quell shows your PLM index, which is the average number of PLMs per hour of sleep, in the Quell Relief app sleep tracking screen. Some PLMs while your sleep is normal.   A PLM index of 5-15 is borderline and more than 15 is usually considered high.  Many people with chronic pain have a borderline or high PLM index.

High PLMs may indicate that you have restless leg syndrome (RLS) and could suggest that you are at risk for certain chronic conditions.  Only your physician can properly interpret your PLM index.

February 2021 Tip

Pain Relief Tip

There are two simple rules you can follow to maximize your pain relief with Quell. First, you should use Quell at the same time you experience pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is most effective during stimulation and for a short time (30-60 minutes) afterwards. Second, you should try to use Quell as often and regularly as you can. Our research shows that those who use Quell for at least three 1-hour therapy sessions every day (or at least most days), experience the greatest pain relief. Many Quell users simply put device on in the morning and keep it on all day. Some users wear their device all night because that is when they experience their worst pain. There are even some users that keep their device on all day and night. As an important reminder, please ventilate your skin every 4-5 hours or after waking up in the morning.

Did you Know?

Quell 2.0 can be set to start automatically once it is placed on your leg. This feature is a great convenience because you do not have to open your Quell mobile app to start therapy. Simply place the device on your leg and in about 30-60 seconds your first therapy session will start. The auto-start feature is off by default. To turn it on go to Settings from the main menu and then select Therapy Automation. From this screen select “Automatic Start” and enable by tapping the selector switch (blue indicates that automatic start is enabled).

March 2021 Tip

Pain Relief Tip

Chronic pain is often exacerbated by triggers such as physical over exertion and emotional stress. It may be possible to get ahead of the pain by using Quell in advance of and concurrent with these triggers. For example, if you are expecting to be highly active (usually a good thing!) then you might consider using Quell while active or immediately afterwards to lessen the resulting pain spike. As another example, if you are anticipating an emotionally stressful event then you can use Quell in advance and during the event to help keep the pain surge under control.

Did you Know?

For many people, nerve stimulation feels stronger when lying down. Quell can be set to automatically reduce the intensity when you lie down. This nice convenient feature automatically compensates for your body position so that you experience a consistent stimulation sensation whether you are standing up, sitting or lying down. This feature is called “Body Position Adjustment” and it is off by default. To turn it on, go to Settings from the main menu and then select Therapy Automation. From this screen select “Body Position Adjustment” and enable by tapping the selector switch (blue indicates that automatic start is enabled).

April 2021 Tip

Pain Relief Tip

There is a two-way relationship between sleep and pain.  Poor sleep makes pain worse, and pain disrupts sleep.  So, it is not surprising that most people with chronic pain also have poor sleep.  This may include a short sleep duration, difficulty falling asleep, waking up at night and altered sleep cycles.  If you are suffering from pain when trying to fall asleep or during the night, you might consider using Quell to help control your pain while you sleep.  You can read more about this innovative sleep enabling technology on our blog.

Did you Know?

You can control your Quell device and monitor your pain relief with the Quell Apple Watch® app.  You just tap the Quell complication to open the Watch app.  You can then start or stop therapy, increase or decrease intensity, view your therapy schedule, and get status information for your device.  If you just want to check the battery level, that is available by glancing at the Quell complication.  The Watch app also offers notifications, like an alert when your Quell battery is low or if therapy unexpectedly halted, to make sure you never miss out on pain relief.

May 2021 Tip

Pain Relief Tip

All treatments for chronic conditions are susceptible to development of tolerance. What this means is that the effectiveness of the treatment decreases over time for the same dose. Tolerance is particularly common for chronic pain treatments. Some individuals using transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), such as Quell, may experience tolerance. There are several strategies you can use if you feel that Quell’s effectiveness has decreased over time. The most straightforward is to increase the dose. This can mean using a higher stimulation intensity as long as it remains comfortable. It can also mean increasing the number of therapy sessions each day. If your Quell device is set for 60 minutes in between sessions, then consider decreasing the inter-session time to 30-minutes (Therapy Dose screen under Settings in mobile app). If you are not using your Quell at night, that is an easy way to get in more sessions. What if you have maximized the dose that is feasible and comfortable for you? You can take a short Quell holiday – a few days to a week, which may allow your nervous system to reset and regain sensitivity to nerve stimulation. Unlike pain drugs, there are no withdrawal side effects when stopping Quell use so it is a safe way to combat tolerance.

Did you Know?

Most everyone is familiar with activity monitors such as those provided by Fitbit® devices and the Apple® Watch. These devices count the number of steps you take each day. Some devices provide additional measures such as the distance walked or calories burned. Quell also tracks your activity while you wear the device. However, Quell also provides information about your gait. Unlike steps which tell you how much you have walked, gait tells you how you walked. Normal gait is steady. Said another way, normal gait has low stride variability.  Every stride you take is pretty much the same as the prior one. Increased gait variability can be caused by inconsistent walking speed such when walking your dog or due to uneven surfaces such as rocks or sand. However, if your gait variability is consistently elevated despite walking on flat surfaces, there may be reason for concern and should be discussed with your doctor. High gait variability increases your risk of falling, particularly in older adults and those with neuropathy. It turns out that chronic pain can increase gait variability. The reason is not entirely clear, but may be due to your brain being distracted by pain signals. To learn more about the Quell gait tracking technology please visit our website.

June 2021 Tip

Pain Relief Tip

Nerves tend to desensitize in response to continuous stimulation. What this means is that your sensation of electrical stimulation will tend to decrease over a 1-hour therapy session if the intensity remains constant. If this occurs, pain relief effectiveness may decrease. Quell addresses this by slowly and automatically increasing the stimulation intensity over the course of each therapy session to maintain a constant “effective” level of stimulation. Quell determines the rate of increase you need based on any adjustments you make to the intensity during therapy sessions. So, it is important that you “tune” your stimulation intensity during the first few therapy sessions after calibrating your device so that you feel a fairly constant intensity over the full 1-hour sessions. This will allow Quell to learn your particular adjustment level.

Did you Know?

Nerve stimulation can feel stronger at certain times of the day. For some people, this occurs in the morning and in others it may happen in the afternoon or evening. Effective pain relief is achieved when nerve stimulation feels strong but remains comfortable. Quell can automatically compensate for changes in your perception of stimulation intensity during the day to provide a more consistent experience. This feature is called “Time of Day Adjustment” and you will find it in the Settings->Therapy Automation screen of your Quell mobile app.

July 2021 Tip

Pain Relief Tip

How should you use Quell if you have pain in both legs? Quell is placed on the upper calf and is intended to provide pain relief in that leg.  However, it is not uncommon for people to suffer from pain in both legs.  In this case, we recommend wearing Quell on the leg with the most pain.  If you are experiencing a similar level of pain on both sides, then we suggest alternating between legs every 3-5 hours or after using Quell overnight.

Did you Know?

Quell can monitor the amount of time you spend sleeping on your sides, back and stomach. You can use this information to correlate your sleep quality and how your pain feels in the morning. If you find that sleeping a certain way has a negative impact on your sleep and increases your pain, you can take simple steps to modify your position while sleeping. One example is to use a pillow to prevent rolling over. In order to use sleep position monitoring you need to wear your Quell overnight and configure it before going to sleep. To do this, go to Settings->Sleep Position Tracking and follow the simple instructions. Your results will be available the next morning in the Sleep Insights screen (see our website for more information).